How to have a good screenwriting?

Every film is built on a screenplay. It includes the dialogue, action, and dramatic tension of a story. The length and complexity of a screenplay can differ.

It is required for a dramaturgical exciting, engaging film and is also tied to a particular spelling and formatting.

I'll describe the screenplay's structure and demonstrate how to write one.

It always starts with an idea

Before you start writing a screenplay, you have to develop a story. And for a good story, you need a good idea. The actual story then develops step by step from this film idea – also known as the story. Only when you have this story is it worth starting to write the screenplay.

For everyone still looking for a good film idea: Finding film ideas: tips and tricks for finding ideas.

If you already have a story, it is important to check it before writing the script.

A good story is characterized by a clear intention, exciting turning points, and a clear statement. In addition, the dramaturgical arc of tension should be established before the start of writing. Since this step is often neglected, working extensively and thoroughly here is essential.

To develop an exciting story/dramaturgy, you should be able to answer the most critical questions about your story yourself.

This primarily includes the following questions:

  • What is the basic plot?
  • Does the story have interesting characters?
  • What is the beginning and end of the film?
  • When are the dramatic turning points (plot points) in the story?
  • Is there a red thread (arc of suspense)?
  • What is the message of the film?
  • For whom should the film be made (is the target group fixed)
  • How realistic is the realization of the project?

Once these questions have been answered clearly, the task is to summarize the story and write it down. An exposé is ideal for such a summary. Depending on the film, this is a few pages long and describes the summarized action without detailed dialogues.

With the help of such an exposé, it is easier to get constructive criticism and to further revise the story before actually writing the script.

What needs to go into a good screenplay?

After the most important details of the story have been recorded in an exposé, the actual writing begins.

But what needs to go into a good screenplay?

An ordinary screenplay contains the story's plot, including all dialogues, location, and time information. A good screenplay, however, is characterized by a lot more. Above all, a good idea and a dramaturgically valuable plot are the focus here. Also, good story writing is an essential part of a good screenplay. After all, what good is the best story if the screenplay is complicated to understand?

Are you looking for a step-by-step guide?

  • The correct formatting

There are specific formatting guidelines for screenplay writing to guarantee that a screenplay automatically contains the most crucial information and is simple to read. This ensures clear organization and legibility.

Additionally, this formatting ensures that one page of the script and roughly one minute of the subsequent movie corresponds. The length of the screenplay can be used to estimate how long the movie will be.

The "Courier" font, size 12, and standard centimeter-accurate side margins and insertions are all typical for screenplays. Most screenwriters use specialized programs for screenwriting so that everything is considered and you can focus on writing.

  • Write a screenplay

After you have structured your film idea and revised it several times, you can start. In the following, I have divided the individual elements of a screenplay for a better description.

  • Write the script – The scene title

Before an action is described, there is a scene title that makes it clear where exactly and when the action that follows takes place.

A possible scene title could look like this:

INTERIOR - TOWN HALL - DAY

The scene heading is always capitalized and is divided into three parts.

• Is the scene INSIDE or OUTSIDE?

• Where is the scene set? e.g., CITY HALL, AIRPORT

• When does the scene take place? e.g., DAY, NIGHT, AFTERNOON

The first thing to be determined is the scene's environment, the exact location second, and the time of day third.

Writing the Screenplay - The Storyline

The actual plot is succinct, written in the present tense, and leaves out any unnecessary descriptions. Everything you say should be pertinent to the story. A character is capitalized when they make their first appearance in a plot description.

Writing the Screenplay – The Characters

Characters in the plot are capitalized when they first appear, as was previously mentioned. Then use standard spelling. This holds for all characters.

The main characters are frequently introduced in just one or two sentences to give the reader a better understanding of the character. Everything unnecessary is omitted, and only the details necessary for the story are described.

Example:

PETER kneels behind a speaker's podium and closes a silver suitcase. Peter is a small man with red hair and a scar on his cheek. The scar is in the shape of a triangle.

When unnamed supporting actors or extras appear, they are either described or numbered. They are also capitalized on the first appearance.

Examples:

  • POLICEMAN 1
  • POLICEMAN 2
  • OLD MAN
  • PRETTY WOMAN

Writing the Screenplay – The Dialogues

A screenplay consists primarily of dialogues. Therefore, when writing a screenplay, attention should be paid to realistic dialogue that suits the character.

Sentences like “let’s go and kill the guy “are usually not realistic and quickly come across as amateurish.

A dialogue in the screenplay is divided into three parts:

  • Initially, the speaker's name is in capital letters.
  • The second line, in parentheses, is how the dialogue is spoken. However, this is only necessary in exceptional cases if it is not clear from the dialog. Step 2 can therefore be omitted in most cases.
  • Finally, in the next line, the dialog follows in normal notation.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

STORYTELLING 101 PRODUCT IMG

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